By Sandra Desrochers
Joe Anandarajah is thinking ahead – way ahead. The co-founder and CEO of Xtreme Interactions believes that our interactions with computers should be more like the way we interact with each other and with the real world. With current technology, people have to constantly learn and master new computer applications and platforms, limiting their productivity. There must be a better way.
So, the math, physics and chemistry whiz, with Engineering and MBA degrees came up with a solution: Simultaneous Speech & Gestures processing — a more natural way for people to interact with computers.
To help realize this dream, Anandarajah launched his company, Xtreme Interactions, with the assistance of VentureStart, a program funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). VentureStart received $7.5 million in funding through FedDev Ontario’s Scientists and Engineers in Business (SEB) initiative. The program provides emerging entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields with training, mentoring and seed financing to develop their ideas, commercialize their products and grow their companies.
“It’s been so exciting to see the practical, real life applications of FedDev programs like VentureStart come to life in Mississauga,” said Stella Ambler, Member of Parliament for Mississauga South. “Entrepreneurs have so much to offer but this program provides that nudge of support, which our government is delighted to provide. The result for our community is high-quality jobs and a better quality of life.”
Through FedDev Ontario’s support, VentureStart is helping program participants increase their business and management skills and their capacity to create successful companies and career opportunities. The program is co-ordinated by the RIC (Research, Innovation, Commercialization) Centre in Mississauga and delivered through 13 provincially funded Regional Innovation Centres in Southern Ontario. Anandarajah received mentoring for Xtreme Interactions at Mississauga’s RIC Centre.